Common Cold

  1. Common cold in Ayurveda can be caused due to any or all of the three doshas. Cold due to Vata imbalance may lead to dry cough, diminished agni, loss of appetite , and bad taste in the mouth; cold due to Pitta may lead to sore throat, fever, watery eyes and slightly burning sensation in the nose, head or throat. Cold due to Kapha imbalance can lead to congestion, runny nose and phlegm formation. However, in general , cold is a Kapha Vata imbalance.
  2. Avoid cold in general, be it temperature or food or beverages. Keep yourself warm and well covered, especially the head and feet. Avoid direct exposure to cold and also any fluctuation in temperatures like being in AC and then going out in the sun. It can make the condition worse.
  3. Drink warm soups, rasam, broths, herbal infusions , and even warm water. Avoid any chilled beverages, cold water , and also any dairy items like smoothies, shakes, yogurt, milk, cheese , or ice creams. Avoid any heavy, spicy, oily , and fried food items. Eat light and easily digestible food items.
  4. Vegetable stock or chicken broth seasoned with ginger and black pepper is a very effective remedy to cure the common cold. Taking it 2-3 times a day is very helpful.
  5. Chew 4-5 tulsi leaves every morning on empty stomach. You may even make tulsi tea by boiling 4-5 leaves in 1 cup of water. Strain it, add a few drops of lemon and drink it twice a day.
  6. Take 1 teaspoon of honey. Add ¼ teaspoon of ginger juice to it and a pinch of black pepper powder. Take 2 times a day to get relief from the common cold.
  7. Liquorice or mulethi tea is also soothing. You may keep a small piece of mulethi in your mouth and keep sucking it.
  8. Dry ginger is another effective remedy. You can either mix it with honey and take a teaspoon twice a day or make a paste of dry ginger with water and apply it to the forehead. It helps to relieve any congestion or headache caused due to cold.
  9. Increase Vitamin C intake in your diet such as amla/gooseberry, lime, orange , and pomegranate.
  10. Include herbs like ginger, long pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, lemongrass , and turmeric in some form or the other in your diet. It can be consumed as infusions or paste with honey or added to soups and broths.
  11. Individuals who tend to get common cold, sinusitis , or cough very easily during winters, can consider doing Panchakarma under the supervision of an Ayurveda physician during the ritu sandhi i.e. the transition time of 15 days between autumn and winter.
  12. Steam inhalation with eucalyptus or ginger or even plain water is also useful, especially before going to bed.

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